Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Battle For Souls Kickstarter Pledge Distribution

For this quick post I just wanted to share some data with you from my last project, Battle For Souls, which is about to start manufacture VERY soon (whew!). 

Namely, where do pledges come from? 

Now of course, every project is different and there are MANY variables that impact where your pledges will come from. But hopefully the numbers from my last project can give you a decent starting point:

The first pie chart above shows the breakdown of pledges that include me having to physically ship a game. As you can see 27% of the shipments will be international. The second chart shows what countries make up that 27%. 

And if you want some more granularity, the following countries make up the "Other" category in this 27% piece of the pie:

Czech Republic

When I include pledges that did NOT include a copy of the game, the international percentage jumps to 30%. This is mainly due to having a $10 pledge level for a Print and Play version of the game. This is a cost effective way for international supporters to get your game for a very reasonable price. This was a popular option for my international backers. But remember, you will have costs in laying out the PNP files, unless you're a graphic designer.

So as you can see, Kickstarter truly is a global phenomenon. And I have noticed a significant uptick in the percentage of international backers from project to project. From my limited point of view, it looks like international support for game projects is growing.

You need to keep this in mind when planning your shipping charges. International shipping can be, well, for lack of a better word, ridiculous.

The second chart shows where I need to ship international packages. As you can see, Australia and Canada are the largest chunks of the international pie. It also just so happens, for the size of the final product, shipping to Australia is very expensive ($35.25 USPS First Class) and shipping to Canada is less so ($24.55 First Class).

Now, if your game can fit into a USPS Small Flat Rate Priority box (8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8") you can save money and have a faster delivery. Larger than this and the shipping cost increases dramatically.

You can calculate the costs by country on the USPS site:

I can't say this enough, "you need to make your best estimate on how much shipping will cost you!" (DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE PACKING MATERIALS AND LABOR) Make sure you do the estimate BEFORE you price your pledge levels. 

It's my philosophy that international backers should get the same deal (or close to the same deal) that US backer get with shipping included. 

I hope this data can help prevent you from flubbing your shipping costs. It can be an expensive mistake to make.